Veon's former House employees lose appeals court rulings
HARRISBURG — A state appeals court has upheld the criminal convictions of two former House employees who were convicted of public corruption alongside their onetime boss, former Rep. Mike Veon, who's serving time in a state prison.
A three-judge Superior Court panel on Wednesday ruled against Brett Cott and Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, both found guilty of conflict of interest, theft and conspiracy in a lengthy trial in 2010.
Cott had argued that the conflict-of-interest charge was too vague, the theft charge was unsupported by evidence, and the trial judge mishandled the replacement of a juror.
Perretta-Rosepink's appeal argued that she did not have a regular schedule, so the conflict-of-interest charge should not apply, a 48-hour advance notice for getting prosecution evidence had been violated, and the state could not be a theft victim.
Cott and Perretta-Rosepink, who were acquitted of multiple counts at their trial, sought a review related to an impromptu and unauthorized trip by jurors to the state Capitol, a few blocks from the Dauphin County Courthouse.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jane Bowes wrote that Cott had ample reason to think the conflict-of-interest law would apply to him, even though he was a paid legislative staffer and not an elected official.
“The statute in question fails to criminalize amorphous behavior,” Bowes wrote in the opinion. “One can have no doubt that being paid bonuses with taxpayer money for services performed on political campaigns violated its strictures.”
Veon, a former Beaver County state representative who once was the second-ranking leader in the House Democratic caucus, was convicted of theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest for illegally diverting state funds.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Racy’ emails could stay hidden under Pennsylvania open records law
- Retiring circuit judge, a Carnegie native, ‘helped tutor generations’
- Troopers hurt while busting alleged drunken driver
- Man charged in slaying reported voices, police say
- Decline of Pa. police pursuits ‘a step in the right direction’
- State police trooper shot dead outside northeastern Pa. barracks
- Activist spotlights nation’s food waste with Pa. stop
- Centre County entrepreneur with ‘new ideas’ named to LCB board
- Lack of lethal injection drugs causes execution stay
- Savagery of ISIS stirs the grief of 9/11 for survivors
- Development of Flight 93 National Memorial focuses on keeping the story alive for generations to come